The 2013 World Marathon Majors champion and New York marathon winner Priscah Jeptoo has predicted that Kenyan runners will rule the long distance charts for long if they uphold their present form.
Speaking during her colourful arrival ceremony at her Masaba village home in Nandi County on Wedneswday, Jeptoo, who claimed the Majors title after her win in New York gold last week stressed that Kenyan runners have displayed spectacular performance.
“Kenyan marathoners are currently in good shape to rule the global charts and we wish they stretch their form in other races. We hope the trend continues that way so that we rule the world,” said Jeptoo.
Jeptoo, who kick-started the season by winning the London Marathon in April, four months after she bagged silver at the Olympic Games said Kenyan woman marathoners deserved great praise for scooping the first four slots and crushed their all-time competitors, the Ethiopians.
However, the 29-year-old athlete who started running while a student at Itigo Girls, admitted she least expected the Majors title.
“I lined up in New York knowing that I had to win the race because other Kenyan runners were up to it and were on the leaderboard. But even so, winning the jackpot prize is what I never expected,” she said.
The athlete, who was born and bred at Nandi’s Chepnoet village, claimed the WMM title after securing 75 points, her c training partner and compatriot Rita Jeptoo come in second with 65, Edna Kiplagat with 55 and Sharon Cherop fourth with 60 points.
She said he season performance showed she was capable of lowering her personal best time of 2.20.14 hours.
With Virgin London Marathon gold, London Olympics Marathon silver, 2012 Virgin London silver andgold in New York marathon, Jeptoo says she will take some time to rest before planning for he new season.
She specially dedicated her win to her husband Douglas Chepsiror, whom she says has been instrumental in her career.
The runner, who is coached by Kapsabet-based Italian coach Claudio Barardeli, hinted that her biggest focus lies in the next world championships where she intends to bag gold.
“I managed silvers in Daegu Worlds and London Olympics and my aim is gold in the world championship and Rio Olympics,” Jeptoo, a shy athlete said.
In an interview with Nation Sports at her home, a day after returning to Kenya, Jeptoo said all she could think of was resting after a gruelling season full of hundreds of miles ran.
The beginning of Jeptoo’s wild athletics prowess was when she won Douro-Tal Half Marathon and Corrida Festas Cidade do Porto 15Kilometer race in 2009, which acted as a curtain raiser for her record-breaking in Porton Marathon ( 2.30.40) late in the year.
Former world 800 meters champion Janeth Jepkosgei, Chicago and Boston Marathons champ Rita Jeptoo and former world marathon champion Abel Kirui were among fellow athletes who graced Jeptoo’s welcome ceremony.
Rita, who incidentally takes the same training lessons as Priscah under their shared coach, said Jeptoo is more than a friend and her marathon majors win was hers too.
“We are so much more than friends and her recent prize is ours all.
Kirui, who missed out title defense in Moscow due to an injury lauded the spirited battle that the Kenyan marathoners displayed this season. He said his form is picking up and he has signed up for Tokyo Marathon in February next year.